Sunday, October 10

Guinness Foreign Extra Stout Arrives

Guinness is one of those odd, foreign, international, and unique beers that has stood out on the shelves all of my life. In my younger days I remember big 16 oz. bottles of regular Guinness Extra Stout and the nitro cans which I liked better.

When younger, I always liked the look, and how smooth the Guinness was from the can though I always thought it was a touch too light in flavor compared to the bottled version.

My Dad was a bit of a beer advocate. In the home I grew up in, I had found some various bottles of old beer and wine. I must have been about 18 years old at the time. An old bottle of imported Guinness interested me the most, because I was more familiar with it at the time. This thing must be 20 years old, and it is full. It's a goner I know...  but man..  it's a cool piece to have. A real Imported nip of Guinness. The labels added to the bottle, post importation, are very interesting because they discuss and push mixing the stout with other beverages, cocktails, and even milk.

Guinness has always been a great, consistent stout. The story behind the company is very interesting, and takes a great deal of time to really figure out, and understand the company and history. Their beers have undergone many changes..  not just to recipe, but leadership and reason.

I have always liked Guinness, but never jumped on the bandwagon of them being "Too big to be craft", or "They are all about profit". I simply like the brew, but find that I often never buy it. Why? How could I buy Guinness when I can pick up some local Laurelwood Space stout, or even Rogue's Shakespeare stout for pretty much the same price? I like filling my growlers with stout. Hell, I even have a McMenamins down the street here in East Vancouver, WA in which I can fill a growler of their fantastic Terminator stout.

The new (to us), and old (to others) Foreign Extra stout has finally arrived in massive amounts to the U.S. Tonight I have just tried, and am still quaffing the 330 ml bottle in my Hair of the Dog tulip. This stout is something else.

The flavors are complex, unique, and very good. I am very impressed with this stout, and I can see myself buying it again. A few times. Maybe more.

I get a lot of smoke. This to me is much like a smoked stout or porter, with some other flavors such as fig, raisin, salts, wood, and a nice big hit of roasted barley and hops. The bitter hops are certainly present as compared to their usual Draught. The IBU's must be up around 65 or 70. Towards the end some bitter coffee flavors protrude. This is very unique, and really stood out..  well above and beyond my initial thoughts about it. Just smell the smokey, toffee, ester-like aromas...  and then enjoy the taste. You won't be disappointed.


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